An improved and safe cleaning methodology: Microfibre and steam for a neonatal service

Elizabeth Gillespie 1Lama Tabbara 1, Carmel Scott 1, Anita Lovegrove 1, Despina Kotsanas 1, Rhonda Stuart 1

Monash Health, Melbourne, VIC, Australia




In 2013, an outbreak of van B vancomycin resistant enterococcus (VRE) involved the colonisation of 44 babies across the multisite neonatal service. Following that outbreak, we implemented a novel cleaning methodology that did not involve chemical use. However, consideration was required, for very premature babies, at risk of exposure to increased noise levels.


Over a 2 year period, microfibre-steam technology was implemented. During implementation, noise levels were monitored and VRE screening continued at 6 monthly intervals.


Noise levels did not exceed limits for babies in isolettes but those in open cots were at risk of exposure to levels above 50 decibels. In 2016 one baby was identified with van A VRE. No other babies became colonised with VRE.


Application of ear muffs, for babies in open cots, reduced exposure to noise levels during steam cleaning. Cleaning without chemicals is a safe and effective cleaning option for vulnerable populations.

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